Leonard Bernstein

Liner Notes

Leonard Bernstein

Posted by on Jun 12, 2015

Composer, conductor and pianist Leonard Bernstein had a lengthy storied career. His music speaks of the “can-do-ism” of Americans. It crossed through jazz, classical, musicals, television and movies. Bernstein is an iconic figure in our musical heritage.

Willie “The Lion” Smith

Liner Notes

Willie “The Lion” Smith

Posted by on Jun 12, 2015

Willie “The Lion” Smith defined what it meant to be a stride, jazz piano player in 20th century America. As an and African-American Jew, Smith approached the magnitude of WWI, and the early 1900s with a kaleidoscope of perspectives. In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe, explores what the life, music, and legacy of Smith can teach us today.

Nat King Cole

Liner Notes

Nat King Cole

Posted by on Jun 12, 2015

Singer Nat King Cole is well known for his smooth baritone voice, but he started his career as a jazz pianist. His popularity grew through radio and eventually television as he sang a broad range of tunes, including pop music.

Mary Lou Williams

Liner Notes

Mary Lou Williams

Posted by on Jun 11, 2015

Mary Lou Williams was a a giant in the jazz world in the beginning of the 20th century. As an arranger, composer and pianist she worked with Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman and went on to mentor jazz legends like Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis.

In this installment of Liner Notes Rabbi, jazz historian and musician Neil Blumofe explores how the idea of a “Mother” can be extended beyond our biological lines to include those who love and nurture us, and help to bring us up in this world so we can in turn help and love others.

Marcus Roberts

Liner Notes

Marcus Roberts

Posted by on Jun 11, 2015

Blind contemporary pianist Marcus Roberts is often compared to many of the great past pianists. He’s a purveyor of jazz now, its innovation and that it’s a forward-looking art. But despite that, you hear the past, present and future in his work.